Mon, Dec 24, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Special precautions needed during cold weather front: DOH

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Scooter riders wrap up against the cold in Taipei yesterday, as the Central Weather Bureau warned that a cold front would push overnight temperatures below nine degrees.

Photo: CNA

The Department of Health (DOH) yesterday reminded the elderly and people with cardiovascular disease to take precautionary measures to keep warm to prevent increased blood pressure or heart attack during the sudden cold weather.

After the Central Weather Bureau issued a low-temperature alert, warning that temperatures could reach their lowest between yesterday and this morning, the department said the sudden drop could easily cause blood vessel constriction and increased blood pressure, and urged people to measure their blood pressure and take medicine according to their doctors’ prescription.

Beside wearing warm clothes, the department also reminded the public to prevent shoes and socks from becoming wet, which could result in frostbite on their toes, and also to avoid bathing in hot springs for too long as this may lead to cardiovascular emergencies from blood vessel dilation.

The department also suggested patients or elderly people rest on their beds for a few minutes after waking up to prevent fainting caused by postural hypotension.

In addition, the Bureau of Health Promotion said that elderly people may react slower than usual in the cold temperatures, so family members should pay close attention to ensure elderly relatives are kept warm, have sufficient hot food and water and stay indoors to lower the risks of falling over.

The bureau also highlighted four ways to check whether a patient is having a stroke, abbreviated to “FAST” — if the “facial” expression is asymmetric; if one of the “arms” is limp when both arms are held up; if the person is unable to “speak” clearly and the “time” of occurrence should be written down before sending the person to the hospital.

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